Start Watering Those Trees Now!

Photo by Jon Hayes Photography.

It’s that time of year again when GM harangues you about caring for our precious street trees. So here is goes:

Water your street trees!

If you have a young tree on the sidewalk in front of your house or apartment, please, please make sure it gets watered all summer long. The basic goal you should have is to water young trees at least once a week, so long as you get a good 20-25 gallons of water.

If you have a gator (the green bags, which aren’t preferred anymore since they can hurt the bark if they’re not taken off when not in use) or the ooze tube (the brown bags, which are preferred now since you can leave them on without harming the tree) you should just fill it up and let it run.

If you don’t have a gator or an ooze tube, you can just leave a hose trickling into the tree box for 30 minutes to an hour. This may pose a problem to those without a front mounted water spigot. Thus neighbors ought to work together to identify what houses do have front facing hoses and spread the water around. Remember, everyone benefits from healthy trees.

Once a tree is mature, you can stop watering it. By then the roots are so spread out under the sidewalk that it doesn’t need your help anymore (although during any particularly dry periods, it can’t hurt to water it). At what point does a tree become “mature”? That depends on the tree. It’s better safe than sorry so you might as well do it for the first eight years or so.

1 Comment

Filed under Trees

One response to “Start Watering Those Trees Now!

  1. According to the International Society of Arboriculture, a tree is considered “established” after 1 year per caliper inch. That means, that after 3 years of watering for a typical 3″ caliper street tree, you should be good to stop watering, unless in a really, really severe drought. BTW, thanks for the plug on the Ooze Tubes… I invented ’em so if you have any questions, please contact me at or view

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